Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2021 Winner

It is our great pleasure to confirm Luster by Raven Leilani as the winner of the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize 2021

Audacious, provocative and written in scalpel-sharp prose, Leilani's revelatory debut follows a young Black woman enmeshed in the culture wars and madness of modern America. Both unflinchingly honest and piercingly humorous, Luster explores a shifting landscape of sexual and racial politics with immense nuance and sincerity.

 

‘This is an important, uncomfortable book, in turns funny and angry, and always compelling. Raven Leilani is an astonishingly original new voice. We cannot wait to see what comes next from this uncompromising talent.’

NAMITA GOKHALE, Chair of JUDGEs

The Shortlist

Responsible for launching the careers of Max Porter and Fiona McFarlane, the Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize is awarded annually to a writer aged 39 or under. Fearless, boundary-pushing novels and short story collections, the half dozen shortlisted titles for this year’s award represent some of the most innovative and engaging literature published in the past twelve months.

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Tender, profound and masterfully nuanced, Alzayat’s debut collection charts the emotional reality of the female migrant experience, exploring identities caught in the crossfire between two cultures.
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A pulsating, character-driven gem of a novel, Kingdomtide focuses on a septuagenarian plane crash survivor and the tormented park ranger determined to find her, and the echoes and parallels that evolve between the experiences of both.
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Exploring familial tensions and the fears of an overprotective mother, The Death of Vivek Oji tells a captivating story of a Nigerian childhood and the struggle between freedom and love.
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Pew
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Pew is an engrossing, fearlessly astute story about community and fear, revolving around a silent stranger found sleeping in the church of a small American town.
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Audacious and provocative, Leilani’s firecracker of a debut charts Edie’s awkward slalom through modern life, from dead-end hook ups and crushed ambitions to a romantic liaison that has disaster written all over it.
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Tackling the contentious issue of sexual abuse with unflinching enquiry and emotional complexity, My Dark Vanessa interrogates the blurred lines between consent and manipulation and how both memory and context can shift alarmingly over time.
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The Longlist

Alligator and Other Stories
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Antiemetic for Homesickness
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If I Had Your Face
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£12.99
Paperback
Kingdomtide
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£8.99
Paperback
Exciting Times
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£8.99   £7.49
Paperback
The Death of Vivek Oji
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£8.99   £7.49
Paperback
RENDANG
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£10.99
Paperback
The Wild Laughter
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£8.99   £7.49
Paperback
Who They Was
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£14.99
Hardback
Pew
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Pew
£8.99   £7.49
Paperback
Luster
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£14.99   £12.99
Hardback
My Dark Vanessa
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£8.99   £7.49
Paperback

Previous Prize Winners

Lot
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Lot
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In Our Mad and Furious City
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Kumukanda
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£10.00
Paperback
The High Places
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£9.99
Paperback
Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
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To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
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Battleborn
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£8.99
Paperback
Seating Arrangements
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The Meeting Point
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£12.99
Paperback
The Boat
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£9.99
Paperback
Fresh Apples
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£6.99
Paperback